Monday, June 13, 2005

Planning a Baby Shower

Throwing a baby shower for a friend, family member or associate is a wonderful way to shower the new mom with gifts and honor her in the process. Baby showers were originally used as a way to shower a young woman with gifts because she and her young husband could not afford the things they needed for the new baby. Friends and relatives either passed down the baby beds and accessories that they once used, or they built or purchased new ones for the young couple. Baby showers were also a way for older women to gather around and dote on a young mom-to-be and comfort and reassure her about the joys and surprises of motherhood. If you are planning a baby shower for a special young mother-to-be, following are a few things to keep in mind as you plan.

1. Choose a date wisely. The date of the baby shower is best planned during the last month of pregnancy. You don't want to wait too late because babies rarely come exactly when they are expected, but you also don't want to do it too early. The shower should be scheduled when the new mom is on the brink of motherhood, but is also still able to get around with relative ease.

2. Plan the food. A baby shower is all about women getting together, laughing, sharing stories, talking about motherhood and babies, and enjoying food together. A full meal need not be planned, but a baby shower should have lots of special snacks and treats. From cheese, crackers and dip to quiches and fruit salads, plan light food items that can be easily carried or eaten in a plate on the lap. Most importantly, plan a special dessert; either a beautifully decorated cake or a platter of tarts or chocolate covered strawberries. Indulge the mom-to-be and all her doting friends.

3. Plan the activities. Sometimes baby showers include funny games that encourage conversation, laughter and fun for the pregnant mom. Other times the baby shower is focused mainly on mingling and enjoying food together. Regardless of your method of throwing a shower, think about what the new mom will enjoy. If she enjoys games, plan for a few. If she is more reserved and would enjoy simple conversation, forget the games.

4. Gather gift ideas. Many times a mom-to-be will already have an ongoing list of things she needs for the new baby, while seasoned moms often are already well-stocked with the basic necessities. Find out in advance what the new mom will need and share the gift ideas with those invited to the shower. Avoid sending a list, but feel free to give names and locations of stores where the mom is registered, or encourage attendees to phone you for ideas.

5. Include special moments. Some of the most memorable moments at a baby shower can be when friends and family share their own beloved stories and memories about having children. The new mom will be encouraged and will go away from the shower not only showered with gifts, but also with love.

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